Rural Australians are being asked to help raise awareness of depression, anxiety and suicide prevention in their communities and help to reduce the associated stigma. Australia loses around eight people a day to suicide, and over a year, suicide deaths are double that of the national road toll. Too many people who die by suicide are from farming communities across Australia.
In an effort to support good mental health and reduce suicide rates across rural Australia, leading animal health company Zoetis has become a Supporting Partner of beyondblue, and has launched a campaign to help raise awareness and much needed funds. For every Zoetis cattle or sheep vaccine or drench sold by Zoetis between 1 August and 30 October 2016, Zoetis will donate $5 to beyondblue, up to a total of $100,000. “Zoetis is passionate about supporting hard-working regional Australians. There is not one person in our organisation who hasn’t had some exposure to mental health issues and this drives our need to ensure this campaign with beyondblue is a success,” said Zoetis General Manager Lance Williams.
Although the incidence of psychological distress and symptoms of mental health conditions are similar between major cities and rural areas, suicide rates are higher in regional, rural and remote areas. “Every community experiences ups and downs, but when you get another issue that arises on top of daily challenges, whether it is prolonged drought, flood or fire, the impact on many rural families is severe,” said beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC. For more information about anxiety, depression and suicide, please visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call the 24/7 beyondblue Support Service on 1300 224 636.